FIELD AND SPACE ROBOTICS LABORATORY
Robust High-Speed Unmanned Ground Vehicles
Karl Iagnemma, Research Scientist
Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) can perform many tasks that are dangerous for manned vehicles, such as reconnaissance and patrol in a hostile environment. The mean time between failure of current UGVs is often prohibitively low, disallowing their use in high priority real world situations. The development of a robust system would allow for longer mission times with little to no human intervention. High speed would allow the vehicle to perform more useful missions.
Sensors on a UGV have a limited viewpoint and often have trouble identifying certain obstacles (most notably trenches). Adding an additional viewpoint on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could greatly increase the UGV's awareness of its surroundings and facilitate the planning of a safe, fast, and efficient path. Shared data between the UAV and UGV would allow for the detection and compensation of sensor failures, thus making the system more robust. The UGV itself must be able to travel at high speed and must be resilient enough to survive ballistic motion and collisions.
Rendition of a UGV traversing rough terrain under the guidance of a UAV
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